Tuesday, February 17, 2009
It's the day-before-big-shipment here in Kampala. My new home is currently awash with wax-print and batik. Today's major task is to photograph the new products (check out the new garden theme, below) and start updating the website. FedEx comes tomorrow to box it all up and send it off on a metal bird - to arrive in Boynton Beach, Florida, just 2 days later (barring any customs issues).
I've only been in Kampala for a week, but since I'm used to shorter trips, I have had a hard time dropping the "hit-the-ground- running" mentality. I wonder how long that will take. Do you wake up one day and "wait a second, I LIVE here" is no longer a thought?
In the meantime, the days have been spent on fabric research (primer coming soon). Many of One Mango Tree's newest customers are wholesalers who will buy in bulk. Combining the need for bulk fabrics with an emphasis on an all-African supply chain means that we need a new understanding of the fabric markets here in East Africa.
The fabrics in these photos are indicative of a subtle change in direction. On the right is The Original bag in a Tanzanian batik. On the left, amongst the musa acuminata is the Lunch Bag in a Congolese wax-print that Noela was able to pick up.
There's been a push lately for us to move into clothing - first from the Global Exchange buyers in LA, and now here in uganda with potential fashion design volunteers and a growing global market for beautiful, fair trade clothes. I find myself dreaming of kanga sundresses and wax-print wrap skirts - would people buy them?
Here is the proof - a couple of great finds related to African fashion and ethical fashion:
NY Times - Revealing New Layers of African Fashion
Blog - AfricaStyl